Wednesday, October 9

guest post: brenda shares her story

Happy fall!  The weather around these parts is finally resembling the season, and we are loving every minute of the cool air/devouring apples as much as possible.  It's always been my favorite time of year, and I welcome it eagerly each trip around the sun.

A few months back I wrote a bit about my childhood friend, Brenda, who is writing a memoir about becoming a widow at the age of 24.  For her, I can imagine that the fall season brings with it a host of emotions and milestones.  At the end of the month it will have been 5 years since her husband, Kevin, passed away.  It's also the month that she is launching her Kickstarter campaign to raise the money she needs to finally publish her memoir.  I'm so happy to know this brave and thoughtful woman, and so excited to see her project published!  In her words:

Kevin and I were together 3.5 years before he died.  In that 3.5 years, I sum up our experiences into these parts:
Online Dating
Long Distance Relationship
U.S. Immigration
Moving & Wedding
Climbing out of Debt
Surf Fishing
Angiosarcoma and Stupid Cancer

It’s a lot.  When I began writing the memoir just weeks after Kevin died in 2008, I had no idea how to put all these moving parts together.  The blog I had written while Kevin was sick for 4 months with Angiosarcoma was intense, and I had no clue how to incorporate several hundred sometimes boring, sometimes life-altering blogs, into the other story of our crazy life.  It didn’t fit.  Nothing did anymore, Kevin was gone, and the puzzle was missing pieces.

I took it apart and put it back together again and I ended up with the first draft - a love and loss memoir that floats back and forth between Kevin & I’s falling in love story, and the intimate blogs I kept during Kevin’s illness.  One minute you may be learning about the second time we got to meet in person in Big Foot State Park, Wisconsin, and then read about Kevin being put on life support because of his weakening body.  It’s a rollercoaster - much like the 3.5 years we had together.

The memoir is not an easy read by any suggestion - there are boring parts, and I’m admittedly not a great storyteller and I really suck at sharing what Kevin might have said.  I just don’t feel comfortable with speaking for him so specifically.  But you will find hints at how Kevin may have felt when he was unable to legally work when he first moved to the States, and you will definitely know what our feelings are when Kevin is first diagnosed with Angiosarcoma.  You’ll bounce back and forth in my memory bank and you may learn to like us a couple.  You may have even wanted to grab a beer with us.

Mostly, this book is about completion.  Kevin asked me to share our story.  I feel I’ve done a decent job at it, but I think I know what he meant when he asked that big order of me.  I believe he knew that our story could impact someone else.  He knew, as I now do, what power this story has had on our friends and family and complete strangers.  I’ve seen how sharing it can shift a relationship, can give person hope, how it can cause one to reflect, and for all those instances it’s well worth getting out into the world.

I would greatly appreciate you sharing this story with your friends, family and maybe even pledging a buck or two.  You can find updates at my blog and you can get some pretty cool rewards here.  Thanks for supporting, however you can.

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